History

History2019-09-19T18:17:58-05:00

June 1965

Inception

June 1st, 1965|

The process started at a monthly meeting of the Leicester Grange.  Members of the Grange, convinced of the advantages of having a rural fire district, authorized the Grange to pay the chartering fee for the Articles of Incorporation to what was to be come the Leicester Volunteer Fire Department, Inc.

Articles of Incorporation

June 10th, 1965|

The Articles of Incorporation were drawn up with eighty-two members of the community being listed as original incorporators.  A temporary Board of Directors was also elected to serve until the first annual meeting of the new corporation.  The Articles were then presented to the North Carolina Secretary of State.

July 1965

Articles of Incorporation Accepted

July 8th, 1965|

The NC Secretary of State approved the Articles of Incorporation, granting a charter to Leicester Volunteer Fire Department, Inc.

Local Recognition

July 12th, 1965|

The Charter and Articles of Incorporation were legally recorded in the Office of the Clerk of Superior Court, Buncombe County, NC.

First Meeting

July 30th, 1965|

The first official annual meeting for the Department was held, including an election for a permanent Board of Directors.

August 1965

Getting Started

August 1st, 1965|

During the latter part of 1965 and early 1966, the members of the Board kept busy by appointing a Chief and Assistant Chief, working on a description of the bounds for the Department, the possible purchase of a fire apparatus, and securing a location to house the Department.

February 1966

A Building Emerges

February 1st, 1966|

The decision was made to convert the old Agriculture shop at the Leicester School into a fire station.

March 1966

The First Apparatus

March 1st, 1966|

Once the building was secured, the first fire apparatus was ordered from American LaFrance Corporation at a cost of $16,090.  In comparison, the cost of a similar apparatus in today’s market is $332,930.

December 1966

Enhancing Services to the Community

December 1st, 1966|

Thoughts then turned to providing emergency medical services to the community.  A used 1957 Pontiac ambulance was purchased from the Buncombe County Rescue Squad at a cost of $350.  Affectionately known as “The Blue Goose,” this ambulance was in service until June, 1969.

May 1967

Ladies Auxiliary

May 1st, 1967|

The Ladies Auxiliary was formed.

November 1968

Fund Raising

November 2nd, 1968|

The first of several turkey shoots was held to help raise funds for the Department.

June 1969

A New Ambulance Purchase

June 1st, 1969|

“The Blue Goose” was replaced with a new Chevrolet ambulance at a cost of $4,315.30.  In comparison to today’s market, the Department purchased a new ambulance in October 2014 at a cost of $158,300.78, excluding equipment.

September 1969

Permanent Housing Discussion

September 15th, 1969|

The Board of Directors discussed acquiring a permanent home for the Fire Department.  The Leicester Youth Center was recommended.

June 1970

Land Possibilities

June 29th, 1970|

The Board of Directors discussed securing land in front of the Leicester School.

October 1974

Land Option

October 31st, 1974|

A portion of the Frank Lowery property along New Leicester Highway was reported to be for sale.

April 1975

Property Purchased

April 18th, 1975|

The Board of Directors unanimously voted to purchase the Lowery property.

February 1976

Tragedy Strikes

February 22nd, 1976|

The worst natural disaster involving the Leicester Volunteer Fire Department occurred when an earthen dam for a small lake broke at the head of Newfound Creek.  The surge of water took the lives of four (4) family members in its path.

August 1976

Horse Show

August 14th, 1976|

The first annual Horse Show, sponsored by the Department and assisted by the Auxiliary, was held at the Leicester School.

January 1977

Construction Begins

January 1st, 1977|

Throughout 1977 and early 1978, construction began and continued for the new building to become the permanent home of the Leicester Fire Department.

October 1978

Open House Held

October 29th, 1978|

An open house was held to dedicate the new home of the Department.

June 1981

Medical Services Changes

June 25th, 1981|

In agreement with Buncombe County Emergency Medical Services, two certified EMT-Intermediate county ambulance personnel were placed at the Department to answer calls during the day, Monday through Friday.  This agreement was an asset to the community; however, emergency medical services reverted back to the EMT-Basic level coverage at nights and on weekends with those services being rendered by volunteer personnel.

July 1981

A Growing Department

July 1st, 1981|

Several significant changes occurred from mid-1981 through the Fall of 1986.  The inception and distribution of a periodic Fire Department Newsletter, the LVFD News & Notes, began.  Various apparatus and pieces of equipment were also purchased.

October 1986

Increasing Medical Services

October 1st, 1986|

The volunteer emergency medical services for the Department was upgraded from the EMT-Basic level to the EMT-Intermediate level.

June 1988

Fire Tax District Expands

June 14th, 1988|

The fire tax district expanded from a four mile district to a five mile district after criteria was met as set forth by the State of North Carolina and the Buncombe County Board of Commissioners.

May 1989

911

May 1st, 1989|

Beginning at 1000 hours, the new, enhanced emergency telephone number was activated in Buncombe County.

March 1993

Blizzard of the Century Hits

March 13th, 1993|

The “Blizzard of the Century” struck Western North Carolina, thus causing volunteer personnel to continually man the station from late Friday night, March 13, through early Wednesday, March 18.

October 1995

First Paid Employee

October 1st, 1995|

The first paid employee was hired in the Fall of 1995.

June 1996

Considerations of a Substation

June 1st, 1996|

Buncombe County owned property adjacent to the old Sandymush School, which the Department sought after, beginning in June 1996.  Leicester Fire Department secured this property in December 1996 as the site for the building of a substation in the Sandymush community.

November 1996

Expansion

November 5th, 1996|

At the request of the citizens and through actions taken by the Madison County Board of Commissioners, a referendum was placed on the general election ballot to allow for the creation of a “Leicester Fire District.”  This district would be comprised within a specific geological region of Madison County that bordered a portion of the Leicester Fire District within Buncombe County.

The referendum passed favorably, with the tax rate being set at the Fire Department’s current level of $0.10 per one hundred dollars of property evaluation.

March 1997

Funding for the Sandymush Substation is Secured

March 13th, 1997|

A loan is secured for the Sandymush substation, with construction beginning soon thereafter.

June 1997

Open House for Sandymush

June 1st, 1997|

An open house is held to celebrate the opening of the Sandymush substation.

March 2000

First Paid Fire Chief Hired

March 13th, 2000|

The first paid Fire Chief is hired by the Department.

June 2000

Continued Business

June 1st, 2000|

Mid-2000 through mid-2007 was a period of the Department’s history when the significant occurrences primarily consisted of adding additional full-time and part-time personnel and the purchase and upgrading of various apparatus and equipment.

July 2007

Additional Sandymush Personnel

July 1st, 2007|

The Department began staffing the Sandymush substation with two paid personnel, twelve hours a day, seven days a week.

December 2010

Additional Property Purchased for Future

December 28th, 2010|

The Department closed on the purchase of a 10.2-acre tract of property adjacent to the Leicester Public Library, with the intent of constructing a new fire department main station at this location in the future.  On the same day, the Department also closed on the purchase of a 5.23-acre tract at 1075 Newfound Road, with the intent of building a new substation at this location in the future.

January 2012

Construction Begins on Station 3

January 1st, 2012|

Construction begins on the Newfound substation.

July 2012

Newfound Opens

July 10th, 2012|

The Newfound substation is opened and staffed with two paid personnel, twelve hours a day, seven days a week.

June 2013

Open House for Newfound

June 14th, 2013|

Open house dedication was held for the Newfound substation.

June 2014

Insurance Rating Lowered

June 1st, 2014|

Due to the hard work of many Fire Department personnel, both paid and volunteer, and through the passing of an inspection as set forth by the North Carolina Department of Insurance – Office of State Fire Marshal, the fire protection class rating was lowered to a 6E for those residents living within five road miles of any of the Department’s three stations.  This lowering resulted in a noticeable deduction in fire insurance premiums of those living in these areas.

July 2015

Substation Staffing Changes

July 1st, 2015|

The Sandymush and Newfound substations are now being staffed with two paid personnel twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week.

October 2015

EMS Level Increased

October 1st, 2015|

The emergency medical services of the Fire Department was upgraded from an EMT-Intermediate level to the EMT-Paramedic level.